Multiple struggles against new large dams, Portugal

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">The “national program for dams with high hydropower potential”, known as PNBEPH, was launched by the government in 2007. These 12 new large dams, 10 from PNBEPH plus 2 more (Baixo Sabor and Ribeiradio), corresponds to 8% of total installed capacity, 4% of electricity production, and 1% of total energy demand in the country.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">At this time, part of the national strategy for renewable energy was to combine hydro with wind power. In fact, the new dams were to be constructed with reversible technology, where this combination gains an important role to avoid wastage of wind power through pumped storage schemes.<br/><br/>Environmental organizations, academic researchers, civil society movements, among others, came together to protest against this plan. The main claims were the disregard for public participation in the decision making process and neglect of cultural and environmental values of the selected sites for construction.<br/><br/>On one hand these movements where somehow empowered by the case of Foz Côa dam (see extended case in this atlas) where the local population, supported by political parties and national and international organizations with environmental and cultural concerns, were able to stop the dam from being built and preserve the threatened world heritage site. But on the other hand, the Sabor dam was under construction at that time after facing intensive opposition led by the Platform “Sabor Livre” (free Sabor river). The river where the dam was to be constructed is home to diverse fauna and endangered species, and called the “last wild river” in Portugal.<br/><br/>This platform was able to carry out organized protests, send complaints to the European Commission, and even to boycott the biodiversity fund presented by Energias de Portugal-EDP, the concession holder. However it was not enough to stop the ongoing construction and the dam eventually became operational in 2014. <br/><br/>Similarly, the construction of Foz Tua dam, located in Alto Douro wine region recognized as world heritage by Unesco, is facing strong opposition. The Platform “Salvar o Tua” (save Tua river), founded in 2013, has received international attention acting on various fronts. This platform brings together non-governmental organizations and people from diverse backgrounds. This platform was able to file various lawsuits against this project, organize information campaigns and create artistic and cultural projects in order to make this whole process visible. In that same year they delivered a petition in the Parliament called “Manifesto for the Tua valley”.<br/><br/>In 2015 this manifesto, which is still online and has more than 7.300 petitioners, was discussed in Parliament. On this day, some of the signatories traveled to the Assembly to protest inside the plenary where the suspension of works at the Foz Tua dam were voted down by the majority of political parties. <br/><br/>In addition to these cases, there were also conflicts around Ribeiradio-Ermida dam on the Vouga river, and in other 4 hydropower plants in Gouvães, Padroselos, Alto Tâmega and Daivões. Once again there was the involvement of non-governmental organizations, participation and organization of the population in protests, petitions as well as the support position of some political parties.<br/><br/>The different expressions of the large movement against this new large dam in Portugal was able to show that the claim of “national public interest”, to justify the approval of PNBEPH, was not supported by many people.<br/><br/>Portugal has also seen protest by NGOs against new mini hydropower plants in the Mondego and Paiva rivers due to their considerable environmental impact. The environmental and civil society organisations were able to stop both projects. The main reasons supporting this decision were the licensing and contract procedures linked to requirements for minimum water of the original river that limit the exploitable flow in Paiva river; incompatibility with the fish ladders built in Mondego river and changes in civil structures that included expropriation of houses in both cases.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Multiple struggles against new large dams, Portugal</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/portugal">Portugal</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>LOW country/state level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Water Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Dams and water distribution conflicts</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/electricity'>Electricity</a><br /><a href='/commodity/water'>Water</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">The national program for dams with high hydropower potential, known as PNBEPH planned to add a power capacity of 1343 MW and to reach a production of 1896 GWh/year</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td> Program+New dams 1.546̣ to 3.541,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Semi-urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>2007</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/energias-de-portugal'>EDP - Energias de Portugal <small>(EDP)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/portugal'><small>Portugal</small></a> - <small>Concession holder</small><br /><a href='/company/iberdrola-ingenieria-y-construccion'>Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion <small>(Iberdrola)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/spain'><small>Spain</small></a><br /><a href='/company/endesa'>Endesa <small>(Endesa)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-company/spain'><small>Spain</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Ministério do Ambiente, Comissão Europeia; Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente-APA, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Centro CCDR‐Centro, Administração de Região Hidrográfica do Centro, Instituto de Água-INAG, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil-LNEC, Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural, Partido ecologista Os Verdes, Coligação Democrática Unitária-CDU, Partido pelos Animais e pela Natureza-PAN</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/european-central-bank'>European Central Bank <small>(ECB)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/fondo-monetario-internacional'>International Monetary Fund <small>(FMI)</small></a><br /><a href='/institution/european-commission'>European Commission <small>(EC)</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Plataforma Sabor Livre, Plataforma Salvar o Tua, Coordenadora de Afectados pelas Grandes Barragens e Transvases – Secção Portuguesa – COAGRET, Associação Nacional de Conservação de Natureza-Quercus, SOS Rio Paiva; Clube do Ambiente e Património do Arda e Urtigosa-URTIARDA; ; Liga para a proteção da Natureza-LPN, Plataforma Mondego Vivo, Associação dos Amigos do rio Mondego, Fundo para a Proteção dos Animais Selvagens-FAPAS, Grupo de Ação e Intervenção Ambiental-GAIA, Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente-GEOTA, Movimento Cidadania para o Desenvolvimento no Tâmega, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves-SPEA, associação espanhola Ecologistas en Acción; Associação de Municípios do Alto Tâmega-AMAT; Associação Cívica e Ecológica Os Amigos do Rio, Olho Vivo; Associação de Municípios do Baixo Sabor-AMBS; Bird Life International; European Rivers Network; European Youth For Action; Associação dos Amigos do Vale do Tua-AAVT; Acção, Liberdade, Desenvolvimento, Educação, Investigação, Ambiente-ALDEIA</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>PREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Farmers<br /> Informal workers<br /> International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Local government/political parties<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Pastoralists<br /> Social movements<br /> Recreational users<br /> Local scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Development of a network/collective action<br /> Development of alternative proposals<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs<br /> Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches<br /> Refusal of compensation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Potential: </strong>Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Violations of human rights<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>Planned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Strengthening of participation<br /> New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study<br /> Project cancelled<br /> Project temporarily suspended</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>Local communities and ejos don’t want the implementation of the new dams, as it only responds to companies and state’s interest.<br/><br/>They also propose the increase in the installed capacity of the existing dams in place of constructing new ones.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>Although the campaigns against the project had some successful results at the international level (the case of Padroselos dam and Tua dam), the project is still ongoing, despite local mobilizations, international campaigns, public appeals and even UNESCOs declaration of the area as a World Heritage (wine region where the Tua dam is located).</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Decree-Law n.o 226-A/2007 May 31th<br />Changes in the scheme for both public and private use of water resources<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decree-Law n.º 151-B/2013 October 31th<br />Changes on the environmental impact assessment of the effects of public and private projects<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> MELO, J. J. Not sustainable: the sad business of Portuguese new dams. CENSE ‐ Centre for Environment and Sustainability Research, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IAIA 2012-2nd Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, 2012.<br/><a class="refanch small" href=",%20Jo%C3%A3o.%20%20Not%20sustainable%20-%20the%20sad%20business%20of%20Portuguese%20new%20dams.pdf." target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> PATACHO, Domingos. A barragem do Baixo Sabor: um caso de má aplicação da avaliação de impactes ambientais. CNAI ́10-4ª Conferência Nacional de Avaliação de Impactes, Vila Real, 20-22 Out. 2010.<br/><a class="refanch small" href=" " target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> MELO, J. J. Public works policy in Portugal: a case study in unsustainability. International Journal of Engineering and Industrial Management, n. 1, p. 195-208. 2009.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> SANS, Judit S. Participação social na gestão dos recursos hídricos. Olhar sobre o conflito da barragem do Baixo Sabor. Universidade Nova de Lisboa: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Dissertação, 2010.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="<>." target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> MELO, J.J.; CHAINHO , P.; FRÁGUAS, B.; SANTOS, P.T.; PATACHO, D. A barragem do Baixo Sabor: um caso de má aplicação da avaliação de impactes ambientais. CNAI ́10-4a Conferência Nacional de Avaliação de Impactes. APAI/UTAD, Vila Real, 20-22 Out., 2010./resumos publicados em brochura, comunicações em CD.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Plataforma Salvar o Tua<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Movimento Cidadania para o Desenvolvimento no Tâmega<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> SOS Rio Paiva<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Plataforma Mondego Vivo<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> AGÊNCIA LUSA. Mais de 400 canoas desceram o Mondego contra construção de mini-hídrica. Público, 2 Mai. 2011.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> LUSA. Barragem do Sabor começa a produzir energia no final do ano, Observador, 7 Set. 2014.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> RTP. Chumbo do Ministério: Mexilhão trava uma das quatro barragens do Alto Tâmega, 22 Jun. 2010<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> DIÁRIO AGRÁRIO. Suspensão das minihídricas: LPN congratula-se com a decisão. Blog, Agro Notícias Portugal, 14 Mar. 2012.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> COSTA, Maria João. Barragem ameaça achados arqueológicos com mais de 10 mil anos. Renascença, 27 Ago. 2014.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> DIÁRIO LIBERDADE. EDP e Estado não estão a cumprir imposições da Unesco para a barragem do Foz Tua. Diário Liberdade, Consumo e Meio Ambiente, 11 Jun. 2014.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Coordenadora de Afetados pelas Grandes Barragens e Transvases-COAGRET<br/><a class="refanch small" href="ttps://" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Tamega dam<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Foz Tua dam<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>The GPS refers to center Portugal.<br/><br/>Sabor river Dam (Moncorvo/ Bragança/Trás-os-Montes) GPS: 41.1765100; -7.1110800;  Tâmega river dams (Amarante/Celorico de Basto) GPS: 41.390072, -7.960309; Tua river dam (Alijó/Vila Real) GPS: 41.211609; -7.430940; Vouga river dams (Ribeiradio/Oliveira de Frades e Ermida/Sever do Vouga) GPS: 40.742478; -8.319434; mini hydropower plant Foz do Caneio (Penacova/Coimbra) GPS: 40.177844; -8.319884; mini hydropower plants Paiva river (Arouca/Viseu) GPS: 41.028511; -8.225814</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Lúcia Fernandes, Sofia Bento and Teresa Meira</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>09/03/2015</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>